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Our community, together

May 15, 2019

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Our community, together

By the time this magazine is delivered to your home or business, it will be around three weeks since the terrible attacks in Christchurch. Fifty people – men, women, and children – were murdered, while they prayed peacefully at their mosque.

New Zealand is home to over 200 ethnicities, and collectively we speak over 160 languages. People come to live here, to find a new life in a peaceful society. Onehunga, and many of the suburbs around us in central Auckland, are a true reflection of this diversity, and we live and work side by side every day.

The day after the attacks, an interfaith service was held at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Onehunga. Muslims prayed, while surrounded by a protective circle of people from other faiths. The sheer volume of flowers, candles, messages of love and support, attached to the railings around the Onehunga Islamic Centre, were a silent expression of the grief felt by our community.

One week after the killings, there was a two-minute silence around New Zealand, to pay tribute to those who were slain. A large crowd of people from all walks of life gathered at the Onehunga centre. We silently formed a human chain around the building, while Friday prayers went on inside. We were welcomed and treated as guests, served refreshments, and many of us took up the invitation to join the prayers inside.

 

This is our community.